A private consumer complaint against Microsoft was filed in a US court, alleging that the company’s $69 billion offer to buy Activision Blizzard, the company behind Call of Duty (COD), will unjustly stifle competition in the video gaming sector.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also filed a complaint two weeks prior to the private complaint against Microsoft. The lawsuit was filed with an administrative law judge to prevent Microsoft from consummating the biggest-ever acquisition in the video-gaming industry.
The current lawsuit was filed on behalf of ten video game players in California, New Mexico and New Jersey who also seek to stop Microsoft from acquiring Activision.
Contents of the lawsuit alleged that the acquisition of Activision would give Microsoft “far-outsized market power in the video game industry.” “With the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition,” it added.
Reporting from Reuters tells that a Microsoft representative defended the acquisition on Tuesday. The person stated that the deal would bolster the competition and give more opportunities to game developers.
During the FTC lawsuit, Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “We have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Joseph Saveri in San Francisco released a statement in which he said, “As the video game industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s critical that we protect the market from monopolistic mergers that will harm consumers in the long run.”
The previous lawsuits by the FTC also stated similar terms. According to the FTC, a merger between Microsoft and Activision will likely harm competition among other companies like Sony and Nintendo.
The European Union (EU) is also investigating the acquisition and its impact on the gaming industry if the deal succeeds. An investigation by the FTC and EU will likely stretch the case well into 2023.